Posted on March 6, 2014 by multiknack
Long awaited Clinical Establishment Act, “THE MAHARASHTRA CLINICAL ESTABLISHMENTS (REGISTRATION AND REGULATION) BILL 2014 DRAFT” is tabled in the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly. Let the medical professionals say anything, this act is here to stay and sooner or later, all medical professionals and establishments will have to adhere to this.
The Act in its preamble clearly states the need for such an act by mentioning that “it is considered expedient to provide for the registration and regulation of clinical establishments with a view to prescribe minimum standards of facilities and services which may be provided by them to safeguard rights of patients’ and health care providers. So that mandate of article 47 of the Constitution for improvement in public health may be achieved.”
So, it intends to safeguard both, the rights of the patients and the rights of the health care providers. It applies to all “recognized systems of medicine”, whether Allopathy, Ayurveda, Homoeopathy, Yoga, Naturopathy, Siddha and Unani System of medicines or any other system of medicine as may be recognized by the Central or State Government and “registered medical practitioner’’ means qualified and registered personnel from “recognized system of medicine”. According to this act, a “clinical establishment” means a hospital, maternity home, nursing home, dispensary, clinic, sanatorium, wellness clinics, day care centers or an institution by whatever name called that offers services, facilities requiring prevention, diagnosis, treatment or care for illness, injury, deformity, abnormality or pregnancy in any recognized system of medicine established and administered or maintained by any person or body of persons, whether incorporated or not; or a place established as an independent entity or part of an establishment referred to in sub-clause (i) in connection with the prevention, diagnosis or treatment of diseases where pathological, bacteriological, genetic, radiological, chemical, biological investigations or other diagnostic or investigative services with the aid of laboratory or other medical equipment, are usually carried on, established and administered or maintained by any person or body of persons, whether incorporated or not.
These establishments are expected to adhere to the minimum standards and shall be categorised / graded as per the standard that they adhere to. They will not be registered without adhering to certain minimum standards 0r may be de-registered if their standards deteriorate after registration below the minimum recommended standards. The Act also recommends monetary penalties for non-compliance or for contravening any provisions of the Act.
Section 55 of the act enlists the ‘Rights of patients’ as follows:
(1) The patients and / or Person authorized by patient shall receive the relevant information about the nature, cause of illness, proposed care, and the expected results of treatment, possible complications and the expected costs.
(2) Confidentiality of treatment and privacy during examination. Examination of female patient should be carried out in presence of female attendant.
(3) Person suffering from HIV/AIDS shall not be denied care.
(4) Complaint register should be made available in Clinical establishment.
(5) List of Specialists along with Qualifications Should be displayed at prominent place in Clinical establishment.
(6) Patient has the right to seek second opinion. All medical and diagnostic reports shall be made available to the patient or authorized person to facilitate second opinion.
(7) Patient and / or Person authorized by patient or guardian if patient is minor has a right to have an access to his / her clinical records during admission to Clinical establishment and Photocopy of indoor papers should be made available on demand after discharge.
(8) Discharge card should be issued to patient mentioning: Diagnosis, clinical findings, results of investigations, treatment given, the patient’s condition at the time of discharge and advice to patient.
(9) Patient has right to choose registered pharmacy or recognised diagnostic center at his / her own responsibility.
(10) Protection ensured by statutory guidelines and legally enabled provisions applicable to Clinical Establishments which are conducting clinical research.
(11) Informed consent prior to potentially hazardous tests / treatment.
Thus, if the intents of the Act are preserved, it is likely to benefit both-the patients and the health care service providers alike.
(This blog is based on “The Maharashtra Clinical Establishments (Registration and Regulation) Bill 2014 Draft” and uses some text printed therein.)